A casino is a public place where a wide variety of games of chance can be played and where gambling is the primary activity. Although musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate theme buildings help to draw patrons, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits made from games such as slots, roulette, blackjack, craps and baccarat.

Modern casinos are usually divided into a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The former patrols the casino floor and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. The latter operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, known in the industry as the “eye in the sky.” These sophisticated systems allow surveillance personnel to focus on specific patrons and to monitor and record all activity in a given area of the casino.

Because the casinos are so large, they handle huge amounts of currency and are a prime target for robbery and theft. Both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. Most casinos use a variety of measures to prevent this, with cameras and surveillance equipment being the most basic.

Casinos are also famous for their lavish inducements to big bettors. In addition to free spectacular entertainment and luxury living quarters, they frequently offer reduced-fare transportation, hotel rooms and cash back on winning bets. A few casinos, such as the Venetian in Macao, offer high-roller lounges and private rooms with their own TVs.